City staff to research demand for columbarium at Kimberley Cemetery

City of Kimberley Staff have been tasked with researching the future demand for columbarium space in Kimberley, to provide Council with a defensible plan in relation to the future construction of Columbariums at the Kimberley and Marysville Cemeteries.

At a previous Committee of the Whole Meeting on Nov. 6, Council discussed the fact that a new columbarium at each cemetery is included in the 2018-2022 Financial Plan. The only columbarium space available currently at the Kimberley Cemetery is meant for two people.

Councillor Albert Hoglund says it is a waste of space in the columbarium.

“We built the double one because people come in and want to be in there with their loved ones. We couldn’t put two niches in a single unit, that’s why we built the double one,” said Hoglund. “The single one we had is all sold out. [I’m] proposing we build another all single one. [It] doesn’t have to be 72 units. That allows people who want a single to be in a single, and leave the double units for the people who want doubles.”

As stated in the Financial Plan deliberations, a new columbarium was constructed at the Kimberley Cemetery in 2016 that contains 74 niches, all of which are the same size (double). As of Oct. 13, 52 niches remain unreserved. City Chief Financial Officer, Jim Hendricks says that in recent years, the average number of niches sold per year has been 13.

There is a new columbarium at the Marysville Cemetery planned for 2021. The proposed 2018-2022 Capital Plan includes a budget of $55,000 in 2021 and it is anticipated, says Hendricks, that niche sales at the Kimberley Cemetery columbarium will be reduced once the Marysville Cemetery columbarium is available.

Also included is recommended budgeting for a new columbarium at the Kimberley Cemetery in 2021, proposed timing to be reviewed annually.

At a regular Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 27, Council decided to have staff research the need for a columbarium at Kimberley Cemetery further before officially including it in the financial plan. Staff will come back to a future meeting with a report that details the timing, type and location of columbariums proposed to be constructed over the next five years to accommodate that demand.

Hendricks explained that upon receipt and consideration of the staff report, Council could direct the inclusion of any recommendations in future Financial plans.

It is suggested that the existing budget to construct a new columbarium in 2021 at the Marysville Cemetery (at a cost of $55K) remain in the 2018-2022 Financial Plan until the report is received.